Dutch Week, Part the Third: Ember

Today, Kristin and I heard from one kind reader offering to answer any questions we may have about the Dutch. Admittedly, my knowledge of the Netherlands is limited by the fact that: a) I am not Dutch and b) I have never been there. I would like to invite any of you Dutch folks reading this (and I know there are some of you) to share with us anything you think we ought to know, though I can’t think of any specific questions at the moment. For now, here is a short list of a few things I do know about the Dutch:

1) They are tall.

2) They speak better English than most Americans I know.

3) They are, consistently and without exception, among the most excruciatingly beautiful people in the world.

4) Tulips.

5) They have a killer football team with a relentless and potent attack style offense and an luminous orange kit that can surely be scene from the moon who, ultimately, did not live up to my expectations in the last European Cup.

6) Yes, Kristin, Dutch is a language.

7) The music scene is, apparently, perfect.

Take, for example, Ember, a five piece from Haarlem/Amsterdam. No pretentious, abstract descriptions are necessary to categorize Ember, and apparently the band agrees, content with a one word description. They are a rock band. That is all they are. And that is all they ever need be. It’s like Letters to Cleo as Josie and the Pussycats, slightly tousled, with a flair for the dramatic, and Dutch.

But don’t take my word for it. Please, please, please go listen for yourself (I say please because I know that most of you have still not downloaded The Very Sexuals’ Post-Apocalyptic Love like I told you to). There are three tracks up on their MySpace. I would love to describe them to you, but my internet connection has gone wonky on me and I can’t even begin to think about streaming anything. But I was really digging it this afternoon.

Coincidentally, I found these guys through a link on We Swim You Jump‘s MySpace (yes, in fact there is a bit of an incestuous streak running through The Indie Handbook). So, if you have failed to stay current on our Dutch Week festivities thus far, I suggest you get caught up. Come Saturday, you’ll wish you had.

Now that I think of it, I do have one question for you all:

Do you know my Dutch friend? She lives in Amsterdam.

Dutch Blitz!!

Welcome to post #2 of Dutch Week!  I have been learning a lot already this week, including that Dutch = from the Netherlands = the same thing as Holland.  This is helpful knowledge, especially when I continue asking Eric stupid questions, like if the Shout Out Louds, Jens Lekman, or Sondre Lerche count as Dutch music, and could I review them since I already know and love them?  No.  They do not count.  I’m an idiot sometimes.  I think I’ve said that before.

But!  As not to let you, our adoring public, down, I have explored some great music while staring at my computer at work.   Just kidding.  But I have explored some great music!  And while I have found several bands that I would like to share with you (one involving people wearing bear suits, NOT EVEN KIDDING), tonight I have chosen … We Swim You Jump!!!  Partly because they have an awesome name, and partly because they are on the same record label as The Very Sexuals (Subroutine… also have you all downloaded the free album yet?  It’s freaking free!)

We Swim You Jump is a pretty new band hailing from (let’s all say it together) the Netherlands!  They have a demo EP out and they are working on a full album to be released *hopefully* at the end of 2009.  There are only 2 songs up on their myspace (but they only have like 5 anyway, so whatever) but you should definitely listen to them because… they have a tight sound with strong folk/rock influences.  I appreciate their unexpected chord changes and rough-edged voices, and they kind of remind me of the Format (Interventions and Lullabies).  My final reason for listening to them is that one of their songs is called “Sharks,” and I’m confident that they, like us, live every week like it’s Shark Week (or Dutch Week, I guess).  Love it.

Check out their myspace:  http://www.myspace.com/weswimyoujump
Also, if you happen to speak Dutch (is that a language?  Eric will answer this question in his next post!) or just enjoy watching foreign boys speak: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3BfMX9PDzU